Here’s the thing about the “next Tom Brady.” You never know where he’s going to come from.

It could be anyone and, in a Stuart Smalley-esque move, A.J. McCarron seemed to be saying he was good enough and smart enough to take the reins after Andy Dalton, the Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback, broke his thumb Sunday afternoon. Dalton, who is seeing a specialist Monday, may be out the rest of the season, which would elevate McCarron to the starting spot. He says he’s more than ready.

“You’ve got to love pressured moments. That’s what makes you great,” McCarron told reporters. “That’s when the great ones really shine. I guess Tom Brady was in this same situation when he had the opportunity, so I’ve got to make the most of it.”

Brady became Brady in 2001, leading the New England Patriots to a championship, after Drew Bledsoe was injured.

Like Brady then, McCarron is a second-year player and he says he’s ready.

“If you lose confidence,” McCarron said, “it can go bad for you real quick.”